By now, the warehouse at 9850 Kitty Lane, near Oakland International Airport, was supposed to be burning more than 3,000 bodies a year. But instead, the 6,100-square-foot facility purchased last year by a funeral services business to serve as a so-called “mega-crematorium” is collecting dust. After a year of inactivity, though, that could change soon.
In 2011, the Neptune Society of Northern California began the process of moving its crematory business to East Oakland from a facility it has operated in Emeryville since the 1970s. Neptune Society officials said a desire to modernize the company’s facilities, plus the City of Emeryville’s decision to allow residential housing near its Apollo crematorium on Horton Street, prompted Neptune to try to relocate to Oakland.
But a year ago, the Oakland City Council passed an emergency ordinance to block the Neptune Society from moving into its Kitty Lane warehouse, after environmentalists and community advocates expressed concerns that pollution from the facility would threaten the air quality of a nearby neighborhood.
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